It is that time of the year when New Westies come together to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
It's also the time when more rainbows and a host of Pride-themed activities — be it pub trivia, karaoke or brunch — pop up in the city.
In short, it’s time for the 14th edition of New West Pride Week celebrations, which start tomorrow, Aug. 10, and continue until Aug. 20 — with the highlight being the New West Pride street festival that'll hit Columbia Street on Saturday, Aug. 19.
While the multiple-stage festival will feature a host of food trucks, family-friendly activities and roving entertainment, the days leading up to it also promise a ton of fun. Here's a rundown of what not to miss.
Day 1: Get creative
Thursday, Aug. 10
Doesn’t matter if you are a pro or a rookie when it comes to handling colours — all youngsters between the ages of 11 and 18 are welcome to the Paint the Town Pride event at the New West Youth Centre (620 8th St.) and get creative with symbols and expressions while trying to convey the essence of Pride.
Day 2: Flag-raising, launch party and lots of dancing
Friday, Aug. 11
The day marks the official kickoff to a week full of celebrations with a Pride-flag raising ceremony at the New Westminster City Hall (511 Royal Ave.) at noon, followed by the New West Pride launch party at Eighth and Eight Creative Spaces (735 Eighth Ave.) at 7 p.m. Here, meet and greet Pride members, organizations and allies, before you hit the dance floor at the Terminal Pub (115 12th St.) for a Pride-themed night out.
Day 3: Swimming, swing dancing and learning
Saturday, Aug. 12
Folks who identify as trans, gender-diverse and two-spirited, as well as their friends and family are invited to a TGD2SQ inclusive swim (open to all ages) at the Moody Park Outdoor Pool at 12:15 p.m. Meanwhile, the New Westminster Public Library (716 Sixth Ave.), will host a talk by Robin Stevenson, author of Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle, on the history of Pride and LGBTQ+ rights, starting at 1 p.m. Follow up that informative session with an evening of swing dancing along with the Uptown Swing Collective at Moody Park (South field, 620 Eighth St.).
Day 4: Technology, clothing swap and beer bash
Sunday, Aug. 13
New Media Gallery will offer hands-on arts activities that celebrate the achievements by queer artists at their Arts and Technology LAB (Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St.). A two-minute walk down the street from there, Arrieta Art Studio (707 Front St.) will host a clothing swap fundraiser for New West Pride Society the same day. "Share your gender-affirming clothing and freshen up your wardrobe" before heading to a beer bash at Begbies Tavern (609 Columbia St.) that starts at 3 p.m. and goes on till after sunset.
Day 5: Coffee chats and pub quiz
Monday, Aug. 14
Pair your Monday coffee with engaging chats with queer folks and delicious snacks from Delicia Cafe and Bakery (656 Columbia St.) at 2 p.m. Then, test your knowledge on 2SLGBTQ+ culture, video games and board games at the Vancouver Gaymers Pride Pub Quiz hosted by Kelly O’Bryans and Carlos O’Bryans (800 Columbia St.) at 5:30 p.m.
Day 6: Karaoke, trivia and more beer
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Couldn’t get enough of previous night's pub quiz? Head back to Kelly O’Bryan’s and Carlos O’Bryans (800 Columbia St.) to battle it out at a trivia event by the Vancouver Trivia Party. The night will include other mini-game contests and award the best-dressed attendee at the resto-pub. Hop from the pub to Steel & Oak brewery to taste a Pride Week special beer. This should get you ready to belt out your favourite songs at the Pride karaoke session at the Terminal Pub (115 12th St.).
Day 7: Brunch, hoedown, live music and poetry
Wednesday, Aug. 16
Start Wednesday right with a special Pride brunch at Begbie’s Tavern (609 Columbia St.). While here, make new friends and get to taste an LGBT food special, at noon. Follow up the meal with some live Country Western music and line dancing at the annual Seniors Gay Straight Alliance Pride hoedown at the Century House (620 Eighth St.) at 2 p.m.
Don’t want the music to stop just yet? Head to the New Westminster Pier Park for a live concert by the river at 6 p.m. Add a dash of poetry to the evening at Poetry in the Park’s special Pride edition at the Queen’s Park bandshell at 6:30 p.m. Or, choose to celebrate 2SLBGTQIA+ history and music at a trivia night at Georgie’s Local Kitchen and Bar (250 Columbia St.) at 7 p.m.
Day 8: Pie contest, queer gallery and Mexican Pride happy hour
Thursday, Aug. 17
It might be only Thursday, but 3 p.m. Mexican Pride Fiesta Happy Hour can never seem to come too early. Fill up on tacos and margarita, but remember to save space for an award-winning pie. The Farmers Market’s Pride edition will see a pie-baking competition where a panel of judges will crown New West’s Best pie of 2023. The best part? You can grab a slice of the delicious treat with a donation to New West Pride. The day’s culinary offerings continue at Moodswing Coffee and Bar (655 Front St.) where tasty bites and beverages will accompany the opening of New West’s first year-round Queer Art Gallery.
Day 9: Patio parties, film fest and drag storytime
Friday, Aug. 18
Take your kids to a fun and interactive storytime by drag queens at the New Westminster Public Library (716 Sixth Ave.). Reserve the evening for either a patio party at the Met Bar & Grill (411 Columbia St.), a summer party at Starlight Casino (350 Gifford St.) or a deeply relaxing rainbow aerial yoga session at Sea2Sky Wellness Club (428 Columbia St.). At 7 p.m., settle down for an Arts New West’s Film Feast at Douglas College Laura Muir Theatre (700 Royal Ave.). Enjoy six short indie films that showcase the spirit of queerness and celebrate a collective resilience.
Day 10: Pet parade, hot jazz and the big street festival
Saturday, Aug. 19
This year’s Pride street festival is back with a new feature — a site-wide liquor licence. Yep, you get to soak up the live entertainment and browse the many food trucks with your hands wrapped around a chilled beer. That apart, the day will see a parade of pooches dressed in their best Pride-themed garb and an evening of hot live jazz at Century House (620 Eighth St.), starting 6:30 p.m.
Check out the full schedule on New West Pride website.